IPS: Cunningham on pole in Iowa's debut race

Wade Cunningham will start from the pole position for Saturday's Iowa 100 at the brand new Iowa Speedway. Cunningham turned the fastest lap of the event during qualifying (161.306 mph) to earn his first pole of the season and the sixth of his ...

Wade Cunningham will start from the pole position for Saturday's Iowa 100 at the brand new Iowa Speedway. Cunningham turned the fastest lap of the event during qualifying (161.306 mph) to earn his first pole of the season and the sixth of his career. "It's been a long journey back to the front," said Cunningham.

Cunningham set the fastest lap in the first practice session (160.088 mph) despite a "lack of rubber" and windy conditions. Acknowledging that his test three weeks ago aided in making the decisions regarding gearing and downforce settings, Cunningham said "We made the right call."

Alex Lloyd was second fastest in practice and qualifying and will start on the front row for the sixth time this season. "We were hoping to get a little more (in qualifying)," said Lloyd, who currently leads the championship points standings 340-236 over Hideki Mutoh. "We were good in traffic during practice, but not really fast on our own."

Victorious in five of the seven rounds leading to this event, Lloyd has yet to deal with a lot of race traffic. That will all change tomorrow. "Tomorrow will be a difficult day because some guys are difficult to pass."the f

The front runners will have their hands full as polesitter Wade Cunningham noted, "We'll be lapping cars pretty early."

Sean Guthrie and Joey Scarallo turned in career best qualifying efforts and will start on the second row. Guthrie's qualifying speed (159.732 mph) was just a tick slower than his best in practice. Nevertheless, Guthrie was elated with his efforts. "That's the best we've qualified in about two and a half years."

Guthrie is hoping his good fortune in qualifying will continue with tomorrow's race. "The last time we started this far forward was a couple of years ago in Formula Ford and we won that race."

Although neither Guthrie nor Scarallo tested at Iowa, Scarallo was hoping for a bit more in qualifying. "The guys put a good setup on at the start this morning and that made up a lot of lost time. Honestly, I thought we would be a touch better. I don't know if we ran out of fuel or had a misfire, but going into Turn three on the last lap, something happened."

Something happened to Al Unser III too. Unser's father, two time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. said the team didn't put enough fuel into his son's Indy Pro Series entry during qualifying. Unser Jr. explained that once on the steep banking, the car experienced fuel pickup problems just as the green flag signaled the start the qualifying run. Unser III qualified 19th at a speed of 139.540 mph.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Alex Lloyd , Wade Cunningham , Sean Guthrie , Hideki Mutoh , Al Unser III